Box, parts, and instructions

The box, parts, and instructions of the SR-71 Blackbird by Italeri in 1:72 scale

Build process

When I was a kid, I saw a few scale models of the military planes in the military HQ, back in Serbia. Back then I was, and I’m still very interested in aviation and plains in general, I was just fascinated by how those heavy metal things can fly. Since I almost never could see any planes in person, seeing them in scale, for me was like seeing the real thing, only, I could keep it in my room. That grew my passion for scale modelling, and in 1998 I became the youngest member of the scale modelling club “Kormilo” in Kraljevo, but for naval models. Yeah, there wasn’t a club for aviation, just naval, so I went there and started working on wooden models with a small electric engine, non-radio operated. I was happy building boats but my heart was with the planes. I started to build some Revell models in 2001 at home, and my collection of small-scale models was growing larger and larger until adolescence kicked in my interest switched to computers.

20 years later, I saw an interesting link about my favorite plane on HackerNews, the SR-71 Flight Manual, which I found really interesting being an SR-71 Blackbird nerd. I am just amazed at the engineering level and the beauty of this plane. That sparked an idea of building a scale model, and get my hands dirty again in this hobby. The idea felt very compelling since I was in search of a hobby that would take me away from the screen and my free time in the dead months.

SR-71 Blackbird
SR-71 Blackbird

I did some research about what tools would I need and which model to pick, and finally, I settled with SR-71 Blackbird with Drone from Italeri on a 1:72 scale.

To fly at 3 times the speed of sound, the fuselage, and its delta wind design is extremely aerodynamic thus making this model relatively simple to build and paint. But I knew the errors will be made, it’s almost impossible building a perfect first model, but luckily today, in contrast to 20 years ago, a lot of useful information can be found on the internet which will help me in learning the gluing and painting techniques.

SR-71B trainer version
SR-71B trainer version

This model from Italeri comes in 2 versions, the SR-71A and SR-71B (the trainer version) with an option of mounting a D-21 Drone on top. I opted for a more common version of normally operated SR-71A without the drone.

SR-71A with D21 drone
SR-71A with D21 drone

Well, that is my story, fingers crossed this build goes well.

Author

Bojan Vidanovic is a computer programmer, specialized in front-end web development. Love making internet products, blogging, learning, reading, calisthenics and fitness enthusiast.